Iselle causes online disruptions for Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Halemaumau Crater on Kilauea on August 10, 2014 (Photo: USGS)
Halemaumau Crater on Kilauea on August 10, 2014 (Photo: USGS)

Intermittent disruptions in eruption updates, webcam imagery, earthquake data, and other information normally available on the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website could continue for the next few days, officials said.

Staff worked through the weekend to repair damage to the observatory’s power system that occurred during Iselle, but complete restoration of the system is not expected until at least Wednesday, August 13.

According to HVO Scientist-in-Charge Jim Kauahikaua, volcanoes on the Island of Hawaii continue to be closely monitored. “Fortunately, Iselle caused no or little damage to our field instruments, so HVO’s monitoring network is functioning normally,” he said, “but power issues within the observatory are impairing our ability to process the data and update our website.”

Related Link: USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website

As of Monday morning, August 11, Kīlauea continued to erupt at its summit and near Puu Oo on the volcano’s East Rift Zone. The level of the summit lava lake within Halemaumau Crater was relatively steady at 35‒40 m (115‒130 ft) below the vent rim. The active East Rift Zone lava flow, which had reached 7.0 km (4.3 mi) east-northeast of Puu Oo as of August 6, the day before Iselle struck, continued to advance into forest. HVO geologists plan to map the progress of the lava flow during a scheduled overflight on Tuesday.

Should the scientists observe any significant change in volcanic or seismic activity, HVO will immediately notify Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency managers and will keep the public informed through media releases.

“For now, we appreciate your patience when visiting the HVO website. We are working as quickly as possible to fully restore our power system so that the website operates smoothly and without interruption,” Kauahikaua added.

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